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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1989 May;68(5):888-92.

Decreased follicular phase gonadotropin secretion is associated with impaired estradiol and progesterone secretion during the follicular and luteal phases in normally menstruating women.

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  • 1Division of Psychoneuroendocrinology, Max Planck Institut für Psychiatrie, Munich, West Germany.

Abstract

We tested the hypothesis that disturbed follicular development and disturbed luteal progesterone (P4) secretion are associated with reduced gonadotropin secretion in the early follicular phase by measuring pulsatile LH and FSH secretion at that time in 53 normally menstruating women. Three groups of women were identified on the basis of serum sex steroid concentrations (measured daily throughout the cycle) and luteal phase length. Group A (n = 27) had normal ovarian hormone secretion with peak serum estradiol (E2) concentrations of 440 pmol/L or more, peak serum P4 concentrations of 19 nmol/L or more, and luteal phase length of 9 days or more. Group B (n = 16) had normal peak serum E2 values, but peak serum P4 values less than 19 nmol/L and/or luteal phase length less than 9 days. Group C (n = 10) had peak serum E2 values below 440 pmol/L. Risk factors for the disturbances found in groups B and C were exercise and/or intermittent dieting. Compared to group A, both groups B and C had reduced mean serum LH concentrations (3.1 +/- 1.5 vs. 2.3 +/- 1.4 and 2.0 +/- 1.0 IU/L; P less than 0.05) and reduced LH pulse frequencies (5.2 +/- 2.1 vs. 3.5 +/- 1.8 and 3.3 +/- 2.3 pulses/12 h; P less than 0.02). LH amplitude was similar in all 3 groups. Mean serum FSH concentrations were slightly but not significantly lower in group C. We conclude that reduced gonadotropin secretion during the follicular phase may indeed affect E2 and P4 secretion at later stages of the menstrual cycle. The patterns of alteration associated with disturbed E2 and P4 secretion in normally menstruating women are similar to those that occur in women with hypothalamic amenorrhea.

PMID:
2497129
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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